When marriage occurs and a new family is created, unity is not necessarily something that comes naturally. No matter how in love spouses are with each other, these are still two people coming from different backgrounds who may have very different beliefs about how a family, a budget, and a household should be run. And things can really get crazy when children come into the picture! Here are some tips to help spouses combine forces, harness their collective strengths, and work together to successfully raise their kids:
Communicate About Your Differences
So many problems in marriages stem from the lack of communication that can exist about differing viewpoints, expectations, and beliefs. When spouses don’t see eye to eye on parenting ideas, we have to be willing to explain where we’re coming from and what we experienced as a kid that shapes our views about how to raise kids. Share your concerns and also be open to how your partner sees things, then work together to figure out how you’ll conduct your family.
Back Each Other Up
How often do kids get a “no” from one parent, then go to the other in hopes of getting what they want? While this may be a clever tactic, it’s something we shouldn’t allow to happen! Parents really need to be on the same page and back each other up when it comes to discipline, rules, and just how the family does things. Spouses will inevitably have different takes on some issues related to parenting; when this happens, make sure that disagreements take place behind closed doors, and then appear as unified as possible to your children.
Share Parenting “Roles”
It’s often the case that one parent is seen as the “fun one,” while the other is seen as the “tough one.” Spouses have unique personalities and may be naturally inclined to either be permissive or tough with their kids, but don’t allow these “roles” to become too defined or set in stone. The fun parent can step up and be a little more strict when necessary, and the tough parent can learn to relax and have fun with their children. Allow your kids to see you both sharing these parenting responsibilities.